people

Susan Silbey

Email: ssilbey@mit.edu
Extension: x3-6952
Office: 16-233
Department: Anthropology

Professor Silbey received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and post-graduate training in ethnography in the Sociology Department of Brandeis University. She has written about the social organization of law in diverse institutional and informal settings including attorney general's offices, courts, schools, private homes, businesses and scientific laboratories; she has also studied alternative forms of dispute resolution including negotiation and mediation. She edited Studies in Law, Politics and Society (1990-1997) and the Law & Society Review (1998-2000). In 1998, she published The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life describing the ways in which Americans imagine, use, and construct the rule of law. In Litigation: Do the 'Haves' Still Come Out Ahead? (edited with Herbert Kritzer) came out in 2003. Her current research looks at the roles and conceptions of law in scientific laboratories, comparing the place of law in expert communities and popular culture. She is supervising research on the development of new safety regimes in research labs, the effects of laboratory organization on gender hierarchies in science, and variations in engineering education. In addition, she is conducting a six year longitudinal study of engineering education, following a cohort of students through four different engineering schools. Professor Silbey is Past President of the Law & Society Association, and a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.